Since September 12, at least two Uzbek banks have tightened the terms for issuing bank cards to non-residents. According to the press service of Kapitalbank, the bank’s administration tightened compliance control in order to ensure transparency of cash flows and bank operations.
From September 12, non-resident individuals will be able to open bank accounts only in the following cases:
- when staying on the territory of Uzbekistan continuously for more than 15 (fifteen) calendar days before the day of applying to a bank;
- if they study at educational institutions and have documents confirming the student status;
- have official employment in Uzbekistan.
For citizens of Uzbekistan, the conditions for opening bank accounts and deposits remain unchanged.
Ipak Yuli Bank informed that from September 12, the opening of accounts for non-residents (including bank cards and identification in mobile apps) will be possible exclusively in the operational management office at the bank’s head office.
All other branches of will temporarily not accept applications for opening accounts for non-residents. The above changes do not apply to servicing accounts of non-residents opened before September 12 of the current year.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia. Russian banks were subject to restrictions.
Russians cannot pay with cards outside the country and use foreign payment services. Under these conditions, many Russian citizens are looking for workarounds and go en masse to get bank cards to the CIS countries, including Uzbekistan.
On March 6, Visa and Mastercard announced the suspension of all operations in Russia. Now Russian tour operators are offering special tours so that Russians can open these cards in Uzbekistan.
Some travel firms in Russia have organized special travel packages. Having bought this tour, a Russian can come to Uzbekistan and get a bank card. Many travel agencies said that it was "very easy and only takes a couple of days." One card will cost an average of 7.7 million soums.
In early June, it became known that Uzbekistan became the leader of "card tourism" in Russia. Later, information appeared on the network that currency speculators from Uzbekistan had become more active in the Russian Federation.